FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 01, 2007
Visa USA and NFL Stars Drew Brees and Ronnie Brown Launch First Ever Money Management Cell Phone Game to Help Students Tackle Their Financial Futures
Super Bowl XLI Week Kicks Off With a Game of "Financial Football"
Miami Beach, FL - February 01, 2007 - Visa USA today announced it is releasing a free first-of-its-kind cell phone game that helps teens learn how to manage money wisely. Developed in conjunction with the NFL and PLAYERS INC, "Financial Football" arms parents with an innovative tool to help their children learn the important financial life lessons.
"Cell phones are the screen of choice for today’s teenagers and parents know all too well just how much time their children spend talking, texting and playing games on their cells," said Michael Rolnick, director, Visa USA. "Creating a financial management cell phone game allows parents and educators to harness the popularity of the cell phone and put it to good use in teaching the vital life skill of money management."
Demonstrating the connection teenagers have with their cell phones and the growing popularity of gaming on mobile devices, a new study of parents released by Visa USA shows that 38% of teenagers play a cell phone game more than once a week. The survey also showed that 10% of teenagers are "super cell gamers," playing games on their cell phone five times a day or more.
Sprint and Cingular customers can access the game by texting the word VISA to 24421. Unlike many other cell phone games, which can cost up to $20, Visa is not charging a fee to download "Financial Football." Additional information on the game is available at www.practicalmoneyskills.com/CellFootball.
Before being developed for cell phones, "Financial Football" already scored points with parents, teachers and teenagers as a computer-based video game. At the Super Bowl XLI NFL Media Center, Visa USA was joined by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown to help coach and engage students from Miami Beach High School in a game of "Financial Football."
"It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers, and mentors within the community to give young adults a strong background in personal financial management," said New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees. "A few months ago, I joined Visa in bringing this message to students in Louisiana. Now I have the chance to coach another game of ‘Financial Football’ here in Miami and to tell these students how imperative it will be for them to learn how to make good, smart, informed money decisions, as they plan for college and beyond."
"Teaching the fundamentals of money management in school gives young people a real advantage in today’s financially diverse society," said Ronnie Brown of the hometown Miami Dolphins. "I’m glad for the opportunity to teach these Miami Beach students how to manage their money because it is such a vital life skill."
"Financial Football" puts students’ fiscal knowledge to the test by combining the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty. To score points, a player needs to answer various money-management questions correctly. Wrong answers and penalties can cost a player yardage.
The free computer-based version of "Financial Football" has already been downloaded and played over 100,000 times. The game and corresponding financial education curriculum are the centerpiece of a major educational initiative, now in its second season, between Visa, the NFL and PLAYERS INC, to get young people engaged and excited about their financial futures.
In addition to being a game, "Financial Football" is also a one week, five part financial literacy program designed for high school instruction. In December, Visa teamed-up with West Virginia State Treasurer John D. Perdue to announce the first ever statewide roll out of "Financial Football" that brings the computer-based game to every high school and library in the state. West Virginia is one of a growing number of states making financial education a mandatory high school graduation requirement.
"Financial Football" is part of Practical Money Skills for Life (www.PracticalMoneySkills.com), a comprehensive financial literacy program - available in English, Spanish and Chinese – that teaches young adults personal finance skills.
This free, educational resource provides teachers with lesson plans (kindergarten-college) mapped to their state education requirements. For students, there are interactive games and calculators designed to teach responsibility and important concepts such as earning, saving and budgeting money.
"As part of Visa’s longstanding commitment to financial education, we are constantly developing new and creative ways to get students to learn how to budget, invest and save for their futures," said Rolnick. "Cell phones are the perfect way to reach teenagers and have them learn about financial responsibility."
About Visa USA
Visa USA is the nation’s leading payment brand and largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders in the payment system - members, cardholders and merchants. Through its 13,432 member financial institutions, more than 510 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the United States. Last year, U.S.-based financial institutions relied on Visa’s processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate $1.6 trillion in transactions with unparalleled reliability.
Worldwide, cardholders in more than 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume.
Visa offers a trusted, reliable and convenient way to access and mobilize financial resources - anytime, anywhere, anyway.
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